Rodrigo Saravia breaks through to international soccer
In two months, Rodrigo Saravia, the reigning Atlantic Sun Player of the year and former FGCU standout, has emerged into the professional playing field.
After being drafted by Columbus Crew SC, the MLS Eastern Conference champion, with the 19th pick in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft, Saravia was called up to the Guatemala national team for a friendly against Honduras.
Previously representing his country at the U- 23 and U-20 level, Saravia earned his first cap for Guatemala, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in a 3-1 victory over Honduras.
Saravia, who signed his first professional contract with Columbus on Feb. 4, is the only foreign based player on the team with most of the team being made up of players who play in the National Football League of Guatemala.
With its 2018 World Cup Qualifier match against the U.S. coming up soon, Walter Claveri, Columbus Crew’s new manager, used the friendly against Honduras to get a feel for his new squad.
FGCU coach Bob Butehorn, also Saravia’s former college head coach, traveled to Guatemala to watch Saravia make his first start in Saravia’s hometown of Guatemala City, Guatemala.
“If Rodrigo plays well against Honduras, he might have a shot of starting against the U.S in their next World Cup Qualifier,” Butehorn said.
Saravia earned the attention of his new international boss (Claveri), being one of the only players who played the full 90 minutes, as the team saw Claveri make 11 total substitutions.
Guatemala’s national team sits in third place behind the U.S and Trinidad and Tobago in group C of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying.
Guatemala will host the U.S in Guatemala City, Guatemala March 25.